Beginning Educator Support Team (BEST)

The Clover Park School District believes that focused, on-the-job intentional support during the first few years is beneficial to both new resident educators and their students. Our five-year continuum of support includes:

Summer Orientation

Learn our district instructional model, instructional design template, relevant program materials, and grading software during a five-day orientation. Sessions are held in both June and August.

Mentoring

Meet weekly with a highly trained Consulting Teacher or Department Coordinator for mentoring on curriculum planning, classroom management, and data analysis. Mentoring sessions occur during resident’s planning period or after school. Topics focus on curriculum planning, classroom management, differentiation strategies, and data analysis.

Residents Roundtable

Meet in a “roundtable” format once a month with other first-year residents for just-in-time support geared towards beginning educator concerns.

Instructional Rounds

Observe model classrooms of other master teachers in order to analyze and learn from their practice. Instructional rounds occur both during individual mentoring sessions or during Roundtable sessions.

Lesson Planning in the Round

Attend monthly after-school lesson planning sessions to create CCSS-based lesson plans ready for implementation “on Monday morning.

Certification Support

When the time comes, attend after-school ProTeach or National Board Certification support cohorts at little or no cost out-of-pocket.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who qualifies for BEST support?

All educators in their first two years of service qualify for a continuum of mentoring and induction support. First-year educators qualify for weekly mentoring. Second-year educators qualify for customized support as needed.

How do I find out who is assigned to me as a mentor?

Your mentor will email you directly during the first month on the job to set up a mentoring schedule and advise you of training opportunities.

How often do the mentor and mentee meet?

Mentors visit first-year teachers for one-on-one mentoring sessions weekly. Sessions normally last between 30-45 minutes.

What will my mentor and I talk about during our mentoring sessions?

The mentee sets the purpose for all mentoring sessions. Common topics include classroom management strategies, looking at student assessment results, and learning more about the Danielson instructional framework. Mentors are highly trained in the art of asking reflective questions that elicit concerns about a teacher’s own practice.

What happens when my mentor observes me?

The mentee always sets the purpose of the observation, which usually lasts about 20 minutes. During this time, a mentor will collect data on classroom management, pacing, teaching strategies, and lesson design, and then share this data for analysis and reflection in a follow-up mentoring session.

How was the role of my mentor different than that of my building principal?

Mentors are classroom teachers who have been released full-time from the classroom. They observe classroom instruction and provide collegial feedback to new teachers, but they do not evaluate. Per contract, that is the exclusive role of the principal.

Can I earn clock hours for participating in this program?

Yes. Residents earn clock hour for attending all roundtable sessions during their first year, as well as for meeting with their mentor for mentoring sessions, both during planning periods and after-school.

How can I learn more?

Contact the Supervisor of Professional Development in the Teaching and Learning Department at x5150.